OK, it’s time to promote. Naturally any company’s preference would be and usually is to promote from within. However, when it comes to the world of recruiting, all bets are off the table.
Recruiting is an animal unique unto itself. It is sales, business development, and sourcing all in one. No other sales-related job has such a unique structure, and requires so many different segments of the sales process to come together in order to be successful. I’ve worked with many recruiters and salespeople over the years, and have seen some great recruiters go on to become great managers and leaders in the industry. Yet at the same time, I’ve also seen some great recruiters who can’t manage their way out of a paper bag.
So what’s the difference and how can you identify those qualities to be sure that the next time you look to promote your “top biller,” you’re making the right move?
I think it’s first crucial that we look at what makes up the DNA of a great manager. Managers, much like salespeople are typically born that way. Yes, they may pick up some things along the way but their outgoing nature, ambition, and drive are a few of the many things both professionals have in common, evident even in their youth.
Managers, however, differ in that they’re natural-born leaders; decisive, confident, eccentric, careful, and calculating. I think Theodore Roosevelt said it best when he said, “The best thing you can do is the right thing. The second best thing you can do is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” Great managers aren’t afraid to make mistakes or take risks. You live and you learn, so to speak. Great managers learn from every failure, and it makes them better.
When looking at your staff of talented recruiters and choosing one to promote into a management role, the most typical decision and the one that for the most owners and executives makes the most sense is to pick your top producer. But look deeper; you need to take a look at the qualities of your top producer, and how those qualities compare to what makes a great manager. Is he or she leading meetings or offering assistance to new employees? Or does that person hide out sitting in their corner cubicle hoarding all their trade secrets so they can bill high numbers month after month? Also take a look their desk and work habits. Are they typically the first to arrive and last to leave? Are they organized and prepared day in and day out?
Promoting a top producing recruiter isn’t always the right choice. I strongly advise you to take the time to do your due diligence or you may find your top producer working for your competitor, and your business in shambles. Yes, turnover and low retention is common in our industry, but having the right leadership can make all the difference between success and failure.